Subject : Agreeing on Reducing Expenses Related to Condoling a Muslim
Fatwa Number : 3280
Date : 26-02-2017
Classified :
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

In Jordan, a number of clans have presented a unanimous proposal concerning the gatherings made for consoling a person who lost a relative in a bid to reduce expenses and confine the condolence period. What is the Islamic ruling in this regard?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islamic Sharia admonishes consoling a Muslim for the death of his relatives. Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) said: " There is no believer who consoles for his brother for a calamity, but Allah will clothe him with garments of honor on the Day of Resurrection.’”{Ibn Majah}. It has also admonished making food for the family of the deceased and not to burden them with costs or expenses at this time of hardship. Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) said: " Prepare food for the family of Ja'far for there came upon them an incident which has engaged them.{Abu Dawood and Tirmizi}.

Jurists have confined condolence period to three days. Al-Imam Zakaria Al-Ansari, a Maliki scholar, said: "It is disliked to offer condolences for more than three days. The wisdom behind offering condolence is to cause the heart of the afflicted one to be tranquil. It most likely becomes tranquil after three days of the affliction. Therefore, it isn`t recommended to renew his grief. Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) said: "It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for anyone who dies for more than three days except for a husband; she should mourn for him for four months and ten (days)."{Bukhari}"{Asna Al-Matalib, 1/334}.

Nowadays, people have become accustomed to gatherings and preparing food and drinks for the people who come to console, and some of the costs are paid by the deceased`s family, and sometimes they are overburdened with expenses. In fact, it is permissible to receive those who come to console provided that extravagance is avoided. As far as serving food to the people who come to console is concerned, in principle, food should be prepared for the family of the deceased because they are afflicted. The eminent scholar, Ibn Al-Hajj Al-Maliki, stated: "It is likeable to prepare food for to the family of the deceased unless they were gathered for lamentation. A proof of this is the Hadith reported by Abu Dawood and Tirmizi, and reads: " Prepare food for the family of Ja'far for there came upon them an incident which has engaged them."{Al-Madkhal by Ibn Al-Hajj, 3/275}.

Moreover, it is permissible that the people of the deceased prepare food for their relatives coming from afar. The Hanbali Imam, Ibn Qodamah, stated: "Their preparing food for those coming to condole them is dislikeable because they are experiencing difficult times, and this is an imitation of what people used to do in Jahiliyah(Times of ignorance)…….However, if there was a dire need or necessity for that then it is permissible because some people may be coming from distant place and so they need food and lodging."{Al-Moghni by Ibn Qodamah, 2/410}.

In conclusion, we commend the initiative of the above clans and urge others to follow suit because it is agreeing on doing what is good. Allah, The Almighty, said: " help ye one another unto righteousness and pious duty"{Al-Maida/2}. In addition, Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) said: " Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action"{Muslim}. And Allah knows best.



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